Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cold War Spy Games & McCarry’s The Miernik Dossier

From yesterday’s Guardian article “Russia to expel US diplomat accused of spying:”
Russia has said it will expel a US diplomat accused of working as a spy after he was arrested while trying to recruit a Russian agent for the CIA, in an elaborate raid that revealed the American was carrying a bizarre arsenal of suspected spyware.
Ryan Fogle, the third secretary at the US embassy in Moscow, was paraded in footage aired on state-run television after being detained late on Monday night by officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor to the Soviet-era KGB. He stands accused of being a CIA spy and was declared persona non grata by the foreign ministry on Tuesday.
"A classic spy arsenal was discovered, as well as a large sum of money that doesn't just expose a foreign agent caught red-handed, but also raises serious questions for the American side," the ministry said. "Such provocative actions in the spirit of the cold war in no way help to strengthen mutual trust."
Fogle was said to be carrying two wigs, three pairs of glasses, a compass and map of Moscow, as well as a knife, lighter, stacks of €500 notes and his US embassy ID.
For a novel about Cold War era CIA spying, try The Miernik Dossier by Charles McCarry:
The Miernik Dossier is presented as a series of documents that trace the progress of a “typical” spy operation. There are letters, telegrams, reports from different intelligence services, transcripts from listening devices, descriptions of photographs, and so on.
It tells the story of a Polish man, Tadeusz Miernik, who is living in Geneva and who may or may not be a Russian operative. He comes to Paul Christopher, anxious not to be deported back to Poland. A coincidence (or is it?) sends Miernik, along with Christopher, an English spy, and an African prince on a trip to the Sudan in an air-conditioned Cadillac. Their adventures — rescuing Miernik’s sister from Poland, an apparently random attack by bandits, meeting an acquaintance in Cairo — make up the story.
As the book goes on, the pieces of the operation begin to fall into place. No person within the operation has all the pieces of evidence; you as the reader are the only one with all the clues and therefore with the ability to understand what really happened and why.

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